To celebrate the 90th anniversary of Estonia’s first independance, and the day of the fall of Soviet Russia in Estonia on the 20th of August 1991, a singing festival as estonians only have the secret took place in the singing festival ground.
We had had the priviledge of listening to the Laulupidu (”laulu”= song ; “pidu”= festival) last year with 18 500 singers. But this time, it was different in many ways : first, it was a night song festival (öölaulupidu) which reminded the gathering of thousands of people during the Singing Revolution and also gave it an incredible atmosphere with the lighting of the stage (see picture). Second, this event had a more political dimension, for all estonians in their 40’s and over remember coming there to protest against russian occupation, and with the events now happening in Georgia many georgian flags could be seen in the crowd among hundreds of blue-black and white estonian flags.
The songs were not only those of the Singing Revolution, but also more popular tunes which every one could sing to. More than 136 choirs performed at the same time with almost all the major artists of the country represented. The temptation was too big and as thousands of singers filled the singing arch, I found myself following them all, to see how it must feel to be up there in front of 1/10th of the country (as some figures said). You will be able to judge for yourself in the video, though the impression is not quite the same, but to sing the national anthem with all these estonians was quite something ! I joigned Amelie later on for the rest of the show (where you can hear much better) in company of a few estonian friends and a couple of volunteers.